After my attempt at a paper version of Da Vinci’s Aerial spiral, I looked to the flying machines within our context of today, namely; helicopters. Which while a great achievement in the aviation technology, not that aesthetically pleasing. So after clicking on disambiguation whilst on wikipedia.org, which has two pages under plants; “Helicopter, a samara fruit falling in spiral” and “Helicopter tree (Gyrocarpus americanus)” Hence i clicked the top one as an immediate reaction to the word ‘spiral’.
This led me to the Sycamore trees seedlings; the Acer pseudoplatanus. Which are those little seeds that you would pick up and throw just because they fell like a whizzing helicopter blade. They are otherwise known as a whirlybird, or a spinning jenny.
The seeds can appear in a varity of colours and with different amounts of seed in each, and in any place along the wing. Such as the seed will be in the centre of the wing when they are from elm tree (genus Ulmus), the hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata), and the bushwillows (genus Combretum); whereas the seed will be on one side, and the wing extending outwards from it from maples (genus Acer) and ashes (genus Fraxinus).
It is an Achene, which is a dry fruit produced by some flowering plants. They do not open at maturity and contain only one single seed within, although they do not get attached, the outer shell; that is the typical appearence of what we call a seed, only forms to protect as it hardens. This type of winged achene are called a samara. (much like a dandelion seed is.)